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McGuinty shrugs off Harper's election snub

Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty says he isn't offended that the prime minister is calling for his defeat in the fall election.

The Liberal premier has taken a few shots himself at the federal Conservatives over the last few weeks, but is shrugging off the latest snub.

Mr. McGuinty says it's no secret that he and Stephen Harper have their differences, but it won't stop him from standing up for the province.

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Mr. Harper's comments came during an unannounced visit to the family home of right-leaning Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, which was caught in a YouTube video.

Speaking to invited guests in the Etobicoke backyard of Ford's mother, Mr. Harper said it was time to complete a conservative hat trick and defeat the Ontario Liberals.

He claimed that he and Ford are each cleaning up a "left-wing mess," and with the Ontario election just a few weeks away, it was time to "do it provincially as well."

Recent polls suggest Mr. McGuinty is lagging behind Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak, who didn't attend the Ford barbecue.

It wasn't clear what left-wing mess Mr. Harper was referring to federally, as his Conservatives inherited a $13-billion federal surplus when they came to power five years ago and have turned it into multibillion-dollar deficits.

But politically, the Conservative party has improved its fortunes in Ontario by winning 73 of the province's 106 seats in the May general election - mostly at Liberal expense - en route to a majority government.

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